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England captain Eoin Morgan has suggested that they may change their top order for the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan on Wednesday. It is expected that Jonny Bairstow may replace out-of-form opener Jason Roy.
“There is a chance there will be a change,” Morgan said. “Jonny Bairstow is our next man in line. He is a very fine batsman. One thing he does exceptionally well is deal with no baggage. He comes in and wants to prove everyone wrong the whole time, it’s been a huge attribute in him scoring runs when he has had a chance.”
Roy hasn’t had a good season for England having scored only 51 runs in the eight ODIs and was dismissed on the second ball he faced in England last game against Australia on Saturday.
“Everyone goes through a bad run and that’s expected,” Morgan said of Roy. “If someone happens to miss out then they’re not going to be too far away from our plans in the future.”
On the other hand, Bairstow is in good form in the county circuit had scored a career-best 174 off 113 balls for Yorkshire against Durham last month. But he is yet to take a permanent spot in England’s ODI unit. England go into the semi-final as the favourites as they are the only unbeaten team in the tournament and have scored 300-plus totals five times in their last six games.
Bairstow can only replace Roy at the top of the order as other England batsmen have been in fine form. Joe Root is the leading run-scorer for them with 212 runs while Eoin Morgan is second with 175. Alex Hales has scored 151 runs and Ben Stokes has 150.
Last time the two teams met in Cardiff, Pakistan beat England by two wickets, chasing down a target of 304 runs with 10 balls to spare. Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik were the top performers for them.